An Australian microfactory that turns e-waste from smartphones and other devices into useful materials has begun operations. "We have proven you can transform just about anything at the micro level and transform waste streams into value-added products," said Veena Sahajwalla, a materials science professor at the University of New South Wales.
An Earth Day event in Madison, Wis., collected more than 3,000 pounds of electronic waste for recycling. Attendees donated televisions, dehumidifiers, microwaves and other electronics, which will be disassembled and recycled, with some proceeds benefiting the Salvation Army.
Blockchain technology could transform the way that corporate sustainability information is produced by allowing for a more accurate record of each company's environmental, social and governance performance and its effects, Russ Stoddard says. "ESG performance measured via blockchain could be time-stamped and 100 percent verified by all participants in the network," he writes.
Market forces are changing the US energy mix, giving way to innovation, clean energy investments and coal plant closures, writes Bill Ritter Jr., director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University. He argues that market forces -- not the Trump administration -- will continue to steer the energy market because utilities want low-cost electricity and investors and companies want market stability.
Amazon, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants are purchasing more renewables and setting aggressive renewable energy targets, creating a growing demand for the technology worldwide, writes Elizabeth Weise. World Wildlife Fund Deputy Director of Renewable Energy Bryn Baker noted, "Companies are coming in and saying, 'If you want us to be here, you have to give us access to clean energy.' "
Belgium will double the area in the North Sea it has open for offshore wind development after 2020, according to the government. Belgium has four offshore wind farms with a combined capacity of 871 megawatts and the government said it hopes to increase that figure to 4 gigawatts by 2030.
New Mexico is one of the fastest-growing states in the US in terms of wind energy and could attract additional investments by scaling up its job training programs and infrastructure, writes Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., citing an American Wind Energy Association report. "If we make the right choices now, we will attract billions of dollars of private investment to our state and create thousands of new jobs in our rural communities," he writes.
US Wind has signed Maryland-based Strum Contracting and Maritime Applied Physics to provide welding and power equipment installation services, respectively, to build a meteorological mast off the coast of the state, according to the company. The tower will gather data for a 32-turbine offshore wind farm proposed for the area.
Cost declines are making offshore wind an attractive option for countries outside of Europe, with the next frontiers likely being Asia and the US, says Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy CEO of Offshore Andreas Nauen. Observers say Siemens Gamesa and Vestas are contributing to the decline by building new, larger turbines that produce more energy and drive down the cost of generation.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives has reached a tentative deal on a bill that would levy a $1-per-megawatt-hour tax on new wind projects only. Wind Coalition Oklahoma Director Mark Yates praised the bill, adding, "The decision that was made today is good for the state of Oklahoma, and it's fair, and it's not punitive to the wind industry."